In August the New Zealand government published a first draft of the Financial Markets Conduct Bill. One of the clauses within the Bill – clause 113 – states that anyone joining a New Zealand-based pension scheme must be either a resident of the country or employed by the New Zealand government.
This legislative change would effectively mean that New Zealand could no longer be used as a jurisdiction for providers to domicile QROPS.
It would also mean that organisations in the country could not offer pension plans to workers they employ who are not resident in New Zealand. Because of this, over 70 organisations, including the New Zealand Anglican Church Pension Board, New Zealand Universities Superannuation Scheme, the and large companies such as Shell Petroleum, have made submissions to the government in a bid to remove the clause 113 restriction.
English solicitor and New Zealand barrister Michael Reason, who has studied the draft legislation and any of its subsequent amendments, said he is pleased to see the opposition.
“The Bill still seems to prevent non-residents from being able to join New Zealand superannuation schemes, however the good news is that there are a substantial number of people who are opposed to it,” said Reason.
“Organisations, such as the Church and the universities, have a vested interest in ensuring they are able to offer attractive packages to their employees and will hopefully continue to lobby to ensure the act as it stands is not passed.”